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Dolls spread Christmas cheer

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Dolls spread Christmas cheer
Published 20 December 2016
Playford residents are bringing a little Christmas spirit to South African children this year.

Playford residents are bringing a little Christmas spirit to South African children this year.

^The Grenville Community Connections Hub participants working on the dolls. This Christmas it’s not elves, but Grenville Community Connections Hub members who are making dolls to bring festive cheer to children in South Africa through the Uthando Project.

Over the past year the team has worked diligently to create 221 dolls that are destined for KwaZulu-Natal; a province in South Africa heavily impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.“We are the first official Uthando Project in South Australia and, so far, we have 20 participants that we hope to grow, with the program continuing into the new year,” Grenville Hub assistant co-ordinator Natalie Robinson said.

The dolls are made from wool scraps and are crafted for children who have lost parents and/or family members to HIV/AIDS.

Dealing with illness and death in a family can be hard for children and the doll becomes a companion for them to talk to or cuddle.

The dolls also assist caregivers to communicate with the children during what is a difficult time.

Grenville member Sue Cloosterman, of Andrews Farm, said she enjoys creating gifts for children who need them.

“I love making dolls and animals and take great pleasure in doing so, even though I don’t get to see the children's faces, I hope they are made well enough to last a long time,” Sue said. If you can volunteer your time to the Uthando Project, or would like to donate wool, materials, or make a monetary donation for shipment costs, contact the Grenville Hub (8256 0377).